God’s Presence, Our Identity.

By Pastor Brady Wolcott

1 Corinthians 3:17b. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

What does it mean that we are the temple of God? Well it means many things, but not the least of it is the truth the God’s presence is always with us.

In Exodus 3 there is an amazing story about Moses and his encounter with God at the burning bush. Moses had fled from Egypt to the wilderness and became a shepherd. One day while looking after his sheep God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. God tells Moses that he has heard the cries of the Israelites and has come down to rescue them.

Exodus 3:7-8. 7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land…

Moses of course is freaking out and asks God:

Exodus 3:11. But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Who am I?

This is the question we are all asking every day? Who am I? What is my identity?

We live in a world where our identity is fluid. We can change it daily. We are told to discover our identity. We are told that it can be whatever we want it to be- usually rooted in what we feel. Your identity is fixed by yourself. But this only produces great anxiety, because we need something bigger than ourselves to give us our identity. Identity must be received not achieved.

God’s response to Moses’ question is telling.

Exodus 3:12. [God] said, “But I will be with you…”

God didn’t recount for Moses all of his background and pedigree. He didn’t build up his self- esteem. He didn’t say, “Moses, you are the prince of Egypt. You are classically trained. You have been to the war college. You have had a great education. You are handsome and charming.”

No. God’s answer is “I will be with you.” Moses’ identity is God’s presence.

Christian this is true for you as well. Your identity is not what you have accomplished or achieved. It is what you have received. It is not about what you do, but WHO is with you.

And we have the presence of God with us always, just as Moses did. But maybe in an even greater way, for God’s presence indwells us.

1 Corinthians 3:17b. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Will we rely on the presence of God today? Or will we rely on our own brains, strength, money, influence, power, or achievement? This is our daily choice as the living temple. Will our temple be a place that truly worships and honors God or will it be a place where we set up table to our own glory?

Lord Jesus we pray that you will overturn those tables and make your home in our hearts.